Have you ever read a book so poignant you find yourself making conversation with its characters who probably don’t exist? Oh but they do! Ricky Lee wrote them lives so captivating that I’m sure he’s talking about someone close to me. Maybe a friend or a relative? Sometimes I feel like its me he’s writing about so I stop to think and blush to myself. But most of the time, it doesn’t matter if I’m ashamed–this book was powerful beyond all telling!
The only thing that might prevent you from enjoying it is the strict notion that books written by Filipinos are either too lyrical and dramatic etc. etc. or, you might not understand Tagalog (or in Lee’s case, tag-lish).
I wasn’t supposed to read this. It was a Sunday evening when I went to National Bookstore along Katipunan hoping to find Calvino. His Invisible Cities began to haunt me and I knew I had to find my copy so I scoured all the bookstores I could find until I finally found one for less than half the original price! But really, when I picked up Ricky Lee’s book, I was devastated. It wasn’t Calvino.
But my goodness! This book! You must read this!
Here are several passages off the book:
- Limang love stories daw ang sinusulat nito. Me teorya daw kasi ito tungkol sa pag-ibig. Ito ang teorya ng Writer: Me quota ang pag-ibig. Sa bawat limang umiibig, isa lang ang magiging maligaya. Ang iba, iibig sa di sila iniibig. O iibig nang di natututo. O iibig sa wala. O di iibig kailanman.
- Noon muling naramdaman ni Lucas ang hapdi ng umibig ng walang kapalit. Puwede sana niyang piliin talikuran nalang ang sakit na ito at magtago sa kanyang mga sinusulat na kuwento, kung saan ang lahat ay pwede niyang gawing laging masaya. But he has too much integrity for that.
- …Lucas has been too self-centered in creating us. Nanaig ang lungkot niya kay Bessie. Hinawaan niya kami. He did not allow us to breathe. He imposed on us his theory on love. Isa lang sa lima? Ba’t hindi kalahati man lang? At the same time we also feel na hindi lang dapat love story ang maging kuwento namin. People’s lives are more complex than that…
Of course there’s more and the entire book deserves to be spoken of. The five stories are only a piece of an even bigger story–our own loves coming out of the pages. But in the meantime, while we’re still searching for the words, here’s Ricky Lee and his wonderful first novel!